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dakini_painter
OK, it's been too, too quiet around here.

Tuesday is the inauguration. For many of us, the person and idea we voted for, will actually get to take the oath of office. I don't think Obama is the Messiah. But I do think he's the right person for the troubles we have right now.

I'm sure there are conservatives who still chaff at the thought that he won.

I'm sure Obama will not meet the ideals of those of us to the left of Marx and Lenin.

What do you think?
Kirk
He already has an 80% approval rating at this stage, higher than any president elect since modern polling began.
As people on the left realize Obama is not as liberal as they thought he was , he will lose a few points. As people on the right realize he's not as liberal as they thought , he'll gain a few points. At this point , the guy looks stable. There are some hard choices to be made , if he makes the right choices , he may piss off some of the most powerful people in the world . Powerful people represent a smaller and smaller percentage of the population these days so , the polls won't be affected much if he does the right thing.
Wild Bill Turkey
QUOTE(dakini_painter @ Jan 18 2009, 02:20 PM) *

I'm sure there are conservatives who still chaff at the thought that he won.

Those folk can rub you raw, but but since they aren't all like that, you have to learn to separate the wheat from the chafe.
dakini_painter
I knew it wasn't spelled correctly, so thanks!
Doctor Love

I don't agree with many of his stances but I'm not one of the shallow bitter people that will criticize him from day 1. The dire situation will dictate much of his actions, and I wish him the best. Americans from all parts of the political spectrum need him to make sound policy decisions for the benefit of the country, and I hope he does that.

We've gotten into a bad habit the last couple decades of making the first day in office the first day of the next election cycle, with the same old blind partisan attacks beginning from the start. It's stupid and self-defeating.

Shabba53
Fox News hasn't even waited until he gets into office to start the stories and 'surveys' in the effort to make him look bad. It's pathetic.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(dakini_painter @ Jan 18 2009, 05:20 PM) *

I'm sure there are conservatives who still chaff at the thought that he won.


My dad has a few co-workers in Chattanooga who actually believe the end of the world will start on January 20th because, according to them, terrorists will know they can attack America because Obama is secretly a Muslim. My dad likes to taunt them, sending them goodbye letter-style chat messages about how it was nice knowing them and how he'll miss them after Armageddon on the 20th. He also has offered to can some food for them to store in their underground bunkers.

For a reality check, when my dad took us back to the Atlanta airport today, we decided to stop by MLK Jr.'s house because it was on the way. It was packed. It was a poignant reminder of how far some things have come in this country in a short period of time, and kind of amazing that we went from Jim Crow to a (half) Black President in less than 50 years. Seeing the pictures of the sit-in protesters having sodas dumped on their heads by white supremacists and not fighting back is pretty moving.

Of course there were also poignant reminders of how far we still have to go. The gift shop at the Ebenezer Baptist Church had a few books by Rev. Rick Warren there, who is an opponent of equal rights for homosexuals…

As for Obama, he has inherited a horrendous mess, one which I don't think he'll be able to fix as well as people hope, but I don't think anybody could. I think his bringing-people-together type personality will help on a lot of issues though, and I think he has picked some very wise and promising people for some of his cabinet posts. Obama isn't going to socialize the healthcare system or even create a single-payer system. He isn't going to make school affordable for everyone who gets good grades. He isn't going to give gays the same privileges given to heterosexuals. But I think on most other issues I'm OK with where he wants to go.
Jaded Prole
I expect little and hope for more. In any case, even at his worst he'll be a vast improvement over his predecessor. It's good to have a thinking person at the helm.
Donnie Darko
It will be interesting to see what happens when the temporary cease fire between Israel and Hamas ends in a week.
Jaded Prole
Yes it will. Obama could have done more to stop it sooner since we hold the purse strings, (a phone call threatening "change") but we'll see how and if his approach to the issue is any different soon enough.
Donnie Darko
I don't think it's coincidence that Israel is withdrawing the day before the inauguration. I think Obama will still be a strong supporter of Israel, and I'm fine with that (Hillary is secretary of State, after all), but I think the days of Israel getting carte blanche to do anything they want short of pre-emptively bombing Iran are over.
G&C
Lest they be the ones next bombed preemptively.
Leopold
QUOTE(dakini_painter @ Jan 18 2009, 04:20 PM) *


What do you think?


I think that Obama was handed the world's biggest shit sandwich, and it's really going to be something if he can steer the ship in the right direction in the next four years.

Economic meltdown, together with two wars.tough start, that's for sure. I think that Americans are expecting waaaay too much from one man.

I'm really excited for tomorrow, and I hope it's a safe day for everyone involved.
SocratesGoneMad
I'm a Libertarian and I wasted my vote on another candidate. I wanted Obama as much as I wanted McCain, which is to say not at all. I hope he does a good job, I hope he sticks to defending the constitution, and I hope he doesn't play the game by the rules. I've always wondered if America would actually vote for and elect an honest president. Maybe this one is it.

I won't be excited about this until I start seeing the mans actions.
Leopold
We did elect an honest man who didn't want to play by Washington's rules. Jimmy Carter. Most would say that he accomplished very little.
SocratesGoneMad
QUOTE(Leopold @ Jan 20 2009, 12:53 PM) *

We did elect an honest man who didn't want to play by Washington's rules. Jimmy Carter. Most would say that he accomplished very little.

Heh, excellent point. At this point, I see Obama as being the next Carter. I hope I'm wrong.
Donnie Darko
Carter was far less assertive than Obama. I also don't think Obama is nearly as naive as Carter was when he was President. Carter also didn't have so many people from disparate political leanings willing to give him a chance as Obama has at this moment. Obama has a lot more in common with JFK than Carter. And JFK was no saint, he made a lot of huge mistakes.

But one could do worse than legalizing home winemaking and bringing about peace between Israel and Egypt (the two noteworthy achievements of Carter's years), the last 8 years being a prime example of just how poorly one can perform.
Jaded Prole
Carter was our last decent President and he's a good man.
If Obama is half the wise statesman Carter is, it'll be a vast improvement.

I'm glad to be rid of Bush. We actually have an intelligent president with the potential to be a good leader. That's worth a toast!

I'll start with some Gin -- here's to Change!
Tibro
Obama called us all to task in his speech. We've been put on notice. No more pandering, basking and hypocritical glad-handing. If we don't like him we can look in the mirror and see the reason why. We got us some xit to xovel and everybody needs to pitch in. Earn your worth.
dakini_painter
Of course he was right to call us to task, as too many voters stayed away from the polls in the last 2 elections letting Bush get elected then re-elected.

Anyone who thinks that they can sit back and do nothing because President Obama will fix it is clearly unaware of why America is fucked up.
speedle
A bunch of us from work went out to lunch to watch the speech and festivities. After Obama's speech we all looked at each other and it was clear to all of us that we, the collective and the individual "we", need to pitch in and restore our country. That said, we were all glad to have a leader we could believe in for a change.
sixela
QUOTE(SocratesGoneMad @ Jan 20 2009, 06:43 PM) *

I won't be excited about this until I start seeing the mans [sic] actions.


'
Shabba53
My feelings are that the true measure of a good president is how he (or she) causes the rest of America to step up to the plate to make our country better. The best evidence might not be Obama's actions, per se, but instead how inspired everyone else is to make a change for the better.
Provenance
QUOTE(SocratesGoneMad @ Jan 20 2009, 09:43 AM) *
I hope he sticks to defending the constitution, and I hope he doesn't play the game by the rules.

???
Kirk
I heard the term "peaceful transition of power " 20 times yesterday. How grateful we should be , how happy , to see a peaceful transfer of power . I was looking behind me with a "you talking to me ? " look on my face , frankly , I was a bit offended. It's like thanking a house guest for not shooting or stealing from you . What exactly were they expecting? Have they always used that term for an election?
Another thing that struck me wrong (it's a pet peeve of mine) was Michelle turned in her seat playing with the kids while Yo Yo Ma played his heart out for them . She really should have turned around , had the kids facing the musicians and at least act like they were listening.
Tibro
Although I am in complete agreement with your statements and ideals, Kirk, I have had to point out to my kids how the Obama children had to behave on the podium with how they were simultaneously behaving having to watch it in the comfort of our warm, familiar home.

They want me to be president. It breaks their hearts, at this juncture in time, to hear I'm not interested. The White House may be better appointed than our hovel, but I refuse to eschew the chaos I've come to love and expect. In my home.

I don't lead no nation.
Wild Bill Turkey
Maybe they were alluding to the two previous elections, so hotly contested after the fact, which make a normal, decisive election with a smooth transition seem like a godsend by contrast. (Or was there a general fear that W would be unwilling to relinquish the reigns, surrounding the White House with a private army of soldiers wearing new uniforms with his picture on the shoulder emblem?)

QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Jan 20 2009, 03:33 PM) *

My feelings are that the true measure of a good president is how he (or she) causes the rest of America to step up to the plate to make our country better. The best evidence might not be Obama's actions, per se, but instead how inspired everyone else is to make a change for the better.

Even more important will be the sustaining of this sense of commitment. How many people feel inspired to start living at the gym and eating right on January 1st when making their New Year's resolutions? In a couple of months, when all the confetti has been swept out of the streets and Obama is having trouble getting something past a logjam in Congress, can we maintain our willingness to make the sacrifices and efforts he asked us for yesterday?

We have a magic chance at this moment that we haven't had for a very long time, a country united and inspired to work together as a team. This may be the last time we get a chance this good. I hope he's up to it, but more importantly, I hope we're up to it.

QUOTE(Provenance @ Jan 21 2009, 09:13 AM) *

QUOTE(SocratesGoneMad @ Jan 20 2009, 09:43 AM) *
I hope he sticks to defending the constitution, and I hope he doesn't play the game by the rules.

???
IPB Image
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Kirk @ Jan 21 2009, 02:01 PM) *

I heard the term "peaceful transition of power " 20 times yesterday. How grateful we should be , how happy , to see a peaceful transfer of power . I was looking behind me with a "you talking to me ? " look on my face , frankly , I was a bit offended. It's like thanking a house guest for not shooting or stealing from you . What exactly were they expecting? Have they always used that term for an election?


I think he said that so frequently because that's pretty much the only nice thing one can say about the Bush administration.

As for his kids, I agree. I would have told them to pay attention. But I guess the nanny wasn't there to do that.
Tibro
Maybe the moral is, "You can lead your children to a presidential inauguration, but you can't make them pay attention."

Were you all paying attention? Maybe the proliferation of ADHD isn't such a myth.

Or maybe it is.


What was the question?
dakini_painter
I think the "peaceful transition of power" was not meant for Americans, but for numerous other foreign leaders who've rigged elections so they don't have to step aside, or don't bother having elections at all.

The problem with the statement is that it can refer to other situations, e.g., peaceful transfers of military power within a dictatorship (Kim Il-sung to Kim Jong-il, or the transfers in royal lineage in the Kingdom of Saud).
SocratesGoneMad
QUOTE(Provenance @ Jan 21 2009, 12:13 PM) *

QUOTE(SocratesGoneMad @ Jan 20 2009, 09:43 AM) *
I hope he sticks to defending the constitution, and I hope he doesn't play the game by the rules.

???

I thought it was obvious, but I'll spell it out.

I hope he doesn't continue to support the deviously misnamed Employee Free Choice Act, which if passed would be in violation of two constitutional amendments, and would in fact be more likely to restrict employee choice than to make it more free.

I hope he doesn't pander and fellate special interests just to keep himself in office a second term. You know, like backing an Act that grants unions with ridiculous power, to get union votes and support.

Of course, these are only small things. Nothing like closing down a few prisons to pander to human rights organizations and oblivious bleeding hearts while leaving a gaping loophole that will allow interrogations to be just as bad as they've always been, minus the accountability.

Please keep in mind that Im still going to give Obama a chance. Hes only been in office a few days, and hes certainly going to be under the microscope. Regardless of how many bright minds he surrounds himself with, Im keeping my lantern.
Provenance
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
SocratesGoneMad
Isn't that cheating?
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(SocratesGoneMad @ Jan 23 2009, 01:18 PM) *

You know, like backing an Act that grants unions with ridiculous power, to get union votes and support.


What, exactly, is so bad about unions? He could do nothing and already have the full support of the unions simply because he's a Democrat.

QUOTE
Nothing like closing down a few prisons to pander to human rights organizations and oblivious bleeding hearts while leaving a gaping loophole that will allow interrogations to be just as bad as they've always been, minus the accountability.


Nothing like building a Kafka-esque prison that imprisons people without charging them, telling them what they're accused of or allowing them to have legal counsel. If they are terrorists (I suspect most of them are), the least we could do is charge them and try them, but thanks to the Bush admin pretending our justice system doesn't matter, that's practically impossible now. Obviously we need to have an secure alternative to Guantanamo that is legal, which is why he's taking a year to close the place. In my mind the prison move is more symbolic than substantive, but as a Libertarian I think you'd appreciate any gesture which attempts to do away with a place that is the embodiment of big-brother totalitarian style government.

QUOTE
Regardless of how many bright minds he surrounds himself with, I’m keeping my lantern.


That's reasonable. I will also.
SocratesGoneMad
Granted, yeah, he's a democrat, he's got the votes. This doesn't hurt thought.

And I don't think there is anything wrong with unions, at least, the purpose of unions. I think there is something wrong with businesses being forced to "allow" a union to form, with no democratic, secret ballot process, where the company has no right to walk away from contract negotiations, and if a contract can't be settled within a very short timeframe, the federal government steps in, and imposes a three year contract on, not only the business, but the employees themselves, while removing the employees choice and right to ratify the contract. That is wrong. I won't even get into my dislike of unions in general.

I will completely agree that a lot of what was going on was utterly wrong. Bush was out of line, way out of line, on so many levels. However, for Obama to leave interrogation methods up to the Army manual, which can be changed, is just silly. There are already plans to include more forceful interrogation techniques in the Army manual. Why not just set strict guidelines, with no possibility of loopholes? I would love to challenge some of these people in chess, considering how far ahead they seem to think. And I completely agree, it is more symbollic than substantive. That's the problem I have with it. But I've never been good with symbolism. You don't pay an employee to LOOK busy.

But again, only a few days in.
Wild Bill Turkey
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jan 23 2009, 10:40 AM) *

Obviously we need to have an secure alternative to Guantanamo that is legal, which is why he's taking a year to close the place.

Food for thought on the subject
eric
QUOTE




I cannot see how a terrorist who was released by the Saudis back in 07 has anything to do with the President's current plans to close Gitmo.

Wild Bill Turkey
If you really see no food for thought in an article detailing stories of terrorists held at Gitmo being released and becoming Al Queda leaders, then okay, fair enough. I do. I think it underscores, as the article says, the need for the closure of this facility to be done thoughtfully. It seems as though simply releasing the detainees there to the Saudis might not be the best plan.
dakini_painter
Saudi Arabia is home to Wahhabism, what seems to be the most violent form of Islam. I'm not an expert, but that's my impression.

I'm less concerned that someone released from Gitmo falling back into terrorist associations than I am with their ability to arrange an attack on Americans, especially American soil. I think we need to get out of the mentality that the US is responsible for killing every terrorist on the planet.

We need to change our policies to effectively work with Islamic groups without violence.
Wild Bill Turkey
I'm of the opinion, and I may be wrong, that a terrorist's having been released from Guantanamo has a direct effect on his ability to arrange an attack on Americans.

I also agree that, especially now, we should not feel it's our duty or mission to attack and kill every terrorist on the planet. Working through diplomatic channels, with a massive rethinking of our foreign policies, is far more likely to bear fruit than wide-ranging military actions.

I'm not sure how these two beliefs are at odds with each other.
Nephrite
Rantings of a Sandmonkey
eric
QUOTE




You misspelled "complete rubbish".

Any Limbaugh wannabe that throws around terms like "drive by media" or "the left-wing media " is full of recycled bullshit.

dakini_painter
QUOTE
I'm not sure how these two beliefs are at odds with each other.


First, it assumes that every person in Gitmo was there legitimately. There is ample evidence that that isn't always the case.

Second, throw out the word "terrorist" and replace it with whatever crime it is they have committed: murder, assault, etc. There are legal procedures for determining someone guilt and that is called a trial. And there's supposed to be this stuff called evidence. And when one gets convicted, a punishment is declared, and when that punishment is completed they are released. That's the way our legal system works. In theory. Practice is messier.

Third, there's no basis in our society for simply locking up a person or group of people simply based on the perception that they are a danger, however that might be defined. Going down this road is totalitarianism. That has happened in the US when the government rounded up Japanese-Americans for internment during World War II. Does this mean we should lock up all the Muslims in America because they could be a threat? How do you do that on a global basis?

The whole idea that we should lock up people because we're afraid of them hurting us is very broken, and demonstrates our weakness and our fear.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(eric @ Jan 24 2009, 05:02 AM) *

QUOTE


You misspelled "complete rubbish".

Any Limbaugh wannabe that throws around terms like "drive by media" or "the left-wing media " is full of recycled bullshit.


No kidding. Starting off the first paragraph by mocking people who are excited about civil rights progress is really taking the high road, regardless of whether or not the author is a black female. Next time my wife says to one of her students that if Obama can become president, then they can at least graduate high school, maybe she should instead direct them all to this blog, where one can find true inspiration.

Rather than blame the media for everything (gee, never seen that on a blog before), I'd like to think intelligent individuals can figure out what's rubbish and what isn't and make up their own mind. And for those who get their news and opinions from blogs, there are these things you've probably never heard of called "primary sources" where the real information comes from before it's been filtered through some armchair amateur blogger. You might learn something from them.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(dakini_painter @ Jan 24 2009, 07:15 AM) *

Does this mean we should lock up all the Muslims in America because they could be a threat? How do you do that on a global basis?


No. Part of me wishes we could do that to all self-proclaimed Jihadists, but I realize locking up people for merely holding an opinion, however evil and dangerous that opinion might be, is against our better principles and should be avoided. I think Islam is a foolish and destructive religion, but I don't think anyone should be imprisoned for their beliefs. If their beliefs motivate them to commit illegal actions, then they should be imprisoned for committing the illegal action. And no country should amend their law to allow any religion or other group to have their own separate rule of law within the borders of that country, as the UK stupidly has done.

If one can produce evidence implicating these individuals at Guantanamo, then by all means, bring them to trial and then lock these fuckers up for as long as legally possible. But we can't just throw out the rules of evidence and our system of law every time we perceive a threat. As DP correctly pointed out, that is the method of totalitarians.
Kirk
Gitmo was open when that man was released , so using him as an example of why to not close it makes no sense , he was released for a reason , he became hard core for a reason. Gitmo does not contain terrorists , it creates them . How does closing Gitmo put us in danger?
There are plenty of fucking prisons in this country where we can (and do) contain and torture people.
Keeping one under the cover of Cuba is sickening , frankly I am ashamed of anyone who thinks otherwise .
As for letting the current prisoners go , if they are so bad why not bring them here ? Oh , I forgot , there are laws in this country .
I hate you all.
eric
QUOTE
And there's supposed to be this stuff called evidence.




Exactly, from what I can gather, a lot of the so called evidence that exists is in the form of confessions that were obtained through the use of "harsh interrogation"(torture). Of course this type of evidence is not admissible in a court of law. I hope that we can all at least understand why this is. Another fine example of the good job our last President did to protect us.



The logic of this NYT story seems to imply that Obama's plans to close gitmo next year, caused this guy to return to a life of terrorism almost two years ago. The only way that this could be possible would be that if Kirk has been secretly supplying terrorists with reflux capacitors.
Kirk
They kept disappearing on the bill.
Most of the prisoners are there because of a neighbor or local business man turned them in , often just to get rid of the competition , whether for a lover , a farm or a seat in the new "government" , it was a good way to get rid of anyone you didn't want around.
G&C
What was that phone number, again?
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(eric @ Jan 24 2009, 10:38 AM) *

The logic of this NYT story


You mean the story by the Liberal drive-by Media?

The story is just plain dumb. It didn't bother to ask the obvious question which should have been in bold-flashing letters. WHY DID THIS GUY GET RELEASED IN THE FIRST PLACE???

If they had sufficient evidence, you'd think the man could have been charged with a crime and tried for it. Since that obviously didn't happen, that's a failure on the part of the screwball "law enforcement" system at Guantanamo established by the Bush administration, and has nothing to do with plans to close Guantanamo. The US successfully tried and convicted Ramzi Youssef who bombed the WTC the first time without any bullshit Military tribunal or torture outside of the US, and the guy is in a 12x7 concrete box for the rest of his life. Why not do things that way? It obviously works. The only thing Guantanamo does is undermine the US justice system and make it harder to bring real criminals to justice. I'm glad Barack Obama is smart enough to realize that.
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